Category Archives: sports

Frozen Four 2018

XCel Energy Center
Saint Paul, Minnesota


The X

The Frozen Four, college hockey’s national championship, returned to Saint Paul for the first time since 2011. The tournament featured the University of Minnesota-Duluth against The Big Ten, as three B1G teams made the finals this year. Notre Dame, Ohio State and Michigan joined Duluth at The X.


UMD and OSU in warmups

Game one on Thursday saw The Duluth Bulldogs face the Ohio State Buckeyes. The Dawgs came out fast, scoring two goals in the first 3:04. Defenseman Louie Roehl opened the scoring. Roehl never scored a goal in high school.

Ohio State was never really in the game, which had to frustrate the Buckeyes, as they defeated the reigning national champs, Denver, in their regional. After putting two in the net, Duluth went to a defensive game plan, and really shut OSU down.


Opening puck drop, UMD v OSU

OSU eventually scored a PPG at the 9:37 mark of the third period, but that was the only goal the Buckeyes put behind Duluth goaltender Hunter Shepard. Duluth would move on to the title game with a 2-1 win.


Warm ups between Michigan and Notre Dame

In game two we saw Michigan take on the Irish of Notre Dame. Michigan was trying for its 10th National Championship in hockey, and The Irish were trying for their first.

Michigan drew first blood, with a goal by Tony Calderone in the first period. The Wolverines added to their lead early in period two, on a freak bounce of a goal, as the puck ricocheted off a Notre Dame defenseman, and into the Irish net. Notre Dame would tie the game at 2 later in the period.

1:35 into period three, the Irish went ahead 3-2 on a nice goal by Cal Burke. Michigan, once again tied things up at 3, late in regulation. It looked like the late game was going into overtime. On what looked to be a harmless drive towards the Michigan net, Cam Morrison made a great effort to center the puck to Jake Evans. Evans was able to get enough on the shot, to slide the puck under Wolverine goaltender Hayden Lavigne with 5.7 seconds left in the game. It was Evans’ second goal of the game, and it sent Notre Dame into the final against Duluth.


Post game handshake Michigan and Notre Dame


PPL Center

Allentown, Pennsylvania

The curiously named, “Midwest Regional” for NCAA D-1 hockey was held in Allentown over the weekend. Both the Curator and I thought that the city put on a decent regional. The interest was here, and the community seemed to know why we were here, which is always a good sign.


Opening face-off between OSU and Princeton

The Princeton Tigers would face the Ohio State Buckeyes in game one. It looked like the Princeton magic from the ECAC tournament was running dry, and not even the Hobey Baker video could drum up some extra life for the Tigers.
OSU scored twice within 20 seconds in the first period. There was no score from either team in the second period, then OSU scored two more goals in the third.
Princeton finally showed some life, when OSU took a penalty with less than a minute left in the game. Princeton would score twice in the final minute, but that was not enough to avoid a season ending loss. OSU gets the W, 4-2.


DU vs PSU

We went into game two thinking we’d see some great hockey. Unfortunately, only one team provided that. The game was never as close as the opening puck drop; Denver just beat Penn State in every facet of the game. The crowd was decidedly pro-PSU, but that only made for a lot of very disappointed fans. Final score: 5-1 Denver.

Ticket to Saint Paul:


Puck drop in OSU v DU

We finally had a game. Ohio State and Denver were evenly matched, and the up-tempo style of play was fun to watch. A lot was on the line: Denver was the defending national champion, and Ohio State had never made a Frozen Four field before.

The first period was scoreless, and both goalies had been looking good. OSU finally got a puck past DU net minder Tanner Jaillet on a nice backhander by Dakota Joshua. Then, 3/4 of the way through the second period, OSU doubled their lead on another beautiful backhand shot by Kevin Miller. Things were looking up for the Buckeyes.
OSU would take a 3-0 lead before Denver scored their first goal. OSU gets their first trip to the Frozen Four with a hard fought 5-1 win over Denver.

Sean Romeo, the OSU net minder finished with 30 saves, and was the Regional MVP.


Ohio State celebrates their first trip to the Frozen Four

The field is now set for Saint Paul. Three B1G Teams will advance: Michigan, Ohio State and Notre Dame. Minnesota-Duluth also advances for their second trip in two years.


“… And it’s pandemonium”


Photo Credit: Minnesota Vikings

There were four lead changes in the final 3 minutes, but Case Keenum hit Stefon Diggs for a 61 yard TD pass as time expired, for the final change.

That was emotionally draining, but a ton of fun. Thanks Diggs.

#BringItHome


Mirror Bellows

The World Juniors Hockey Tournament is currently taking place in Buffalo, NY. Kieffer Bellows scored a power play goal 2:18 into the game. Besides the fact that the goal gave Team USA a 1-0 lead, Bellows has a perfectly timed celebration on the ice.

You will have to watch the video, but it’s one thing I do love about hockey: Old jerseys never retire, they just reappear at the best times. The moment in question starts at about the 22 second mark, but the goal is worth watching too.

Bellows would score his second goal of the night in the third period, as Team USA would down Russia 4-2.

USA will next play Sweden in the semi-finals on Thursday. Canada will play the Czech Republic in the other semi.


Golden Gopher Hockey


Mariucci, with the Extra M’s cut off

As I spend some time in the Twin Cities, I decided to drive onto the University of Minnesota campus Friday to take in some Gopher hockey. It’s starting to look like hockey weather down here with some snow in the air. The Golden Knights of Clarkson were taking on the Golden Gophers of Minnesota.

It was a very even game for two periods; both Clarkson & Minnesota are good skating clubs. The game was scoreless after one period, and Minnesota led 1-0 after two, on a Scott Reedy goal.

Minnesota seemed to gain an edge in the third period, with extended play in the Clarkson zone. Minnesota would score two more in the final period on goals by Rem Pitlick and Brent Gates Jr. Clarkson broke the shutout with a goal at the 18:42 mark.

Minnesota had a 3-1 non-conference win.
Stars of the game:
#3 Reedy for the first goal.
#2 Casey Mittelstadt with two assists
#1 Rem Pitlick for a goal and a constant presence on the ice.

Eric Schierhorn had 26 saves for Minnesota, and Jake Kielly had 25 for Clarkson.

The same two teams meet again for round two Saturday night.


30th La Carrera Panamericana

The 30th run of La Carrera Panamericana starts on Friday the 13th. It’s a 7-day, 3000 km, high speed, stage rally in vintage cars. The race runs between Queretero and Durango, over some challenging backroads.

There are some interesting cars running the race as usual: Several Porsches, quite a few Studebakers, Mustangs, a couple of Beetles and at least one Chevy Bel Air, to name a few.